A key to your church's health and success is financial integrity and stability. The basic steps to do this are:
1) develop a 2-person financial team,
2) use Quickbooks online with a good chart of accounts, and
3) open your church bank account.
Kairos will train your financial team and get you started down the right path towards financial integrity.
Church planters tend not to be detail people. They tend to think big picture. Church planters also tend to "hope" that the finances will take care of themselves. Yet handling money is a critical aspect of leadership for a new church plant. Consider the care and attention Paul gave to the task of caring for church offerings:
“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.” (2 Corinthians 8:20-21 NIV)
The second major launch task is developing a healthy financial team that will manage the offerings of your team and fledgling church with integrity and capability. Our experience is that this is the first major leadership task in starting a new church that requires the planter to delegate authority while maintaining accountability. While you will not be the one who does the actual accounting work you will be the one responsible to see that this work is done well.
We recommend you start with the process outlined by Gary Rohrmayer in FirstSteps. Your financial team, at least at the beginning, should consist of two people: 1) a financial secretary who receives the offerings and records them and 2) the treasurer who distributes. The financial secretary works with the income while the treasurer works with the expenses. Both work with the financial records.
Kairos will help you set up your chart of accounts. We'll also get you started using Quickbooks online version and train your team how to keep your church books. Your task is to identify the two people who will form your financial team and organize a meeting with our Kairos staff so we can help you get on the right track.
You will also need to open a church bank account. This will require a number of steps which include filing Articles of Incorporation and church by-laws with your State, holding a meeting to elect your secretary and treasurer, and developing a process for your seed team to make their tithing offerings to the church. Download from the Kairos website the step-by-step Incorporation Guide. It will lead you through your church incorporation process.
Remember, the tithes and offerings of your seed team are your church's primary source of working funds. While you may receive your income from external sources, from the very beginning it is important that your people know they support the work and needs of the church through their generosity. Build a strong financial DNA and you are well on your way to starting a church where generosity is the norm.